Canadian Forests, HandBrake, Firefox, More: Wednesday Buzz, December 28, 2016


A new Web site maps 25 years of logging and fires in Canadian forests. “Thanks to a new website built by local research scientists Mike Wulder and Joanne White at the Pacific Forestry Centre, it’s become just as easy to track the history of logging in Canada between 1985 and 2011 as it is to rent a 1980s Michael J. Fox movie online…. the project has compiled tens of thousands of satellite images from 1984 and 2012. In that span, it documents all occurrences of logging and forest fires, which is the most detailed depiction of forest change at the national scale that has ever been generated for Canada, White says.”


Wow: HandBrake is finally out of beta after 13 years! “There is a reason why software goes through many phases of development, from its initial concept, to a workable prototype, a working alpha, beta, and finally its release. This is because the early stages are about getting the software up and running, and testing it to make sure it works properly and that there no bugs (or at least as much as possible). Now it seems that after existing for 13 years in beta, video conversion software HandBrake is no longer a beta app and has been released as version 1.0.0.”

Firefox will stop supporting Windows XP and Vista because y’all it is almost 2017. “Mozilla will shut down support for its Firefox browser running on Windows XP and Windows Vista in 2017, the company said last week. The exact timing of Firefox’s retirement from those Microsoft operating systems will be determined in the summer, according to a post to a company blog.”


Larry Ferlazzo has put all his “Best of the Year” posts in one place. “Though I’ll continue to add to a couple of them (particularly the education ‘year-in-review’ list), I have now finished posting all twenty-seven end-of-the-year ‘Best’ lists.”

Hongkiat has a writeup on a service that sounds like it’d be good for keeping your in-box uncluttered. “It’s challenging to keep track of the services you’ve signed up via your email account over the years. Lucky you if you’re using Gmail, there is a service called It lets you track and in some cases delete services that is associated with your account. Now you can forget clicking ‘report spam’ everyday.”

Social Media Examiner has a step-by-step on using Instagram Live. “The latest update to the Instagram app includes Live video, a new feature that lets you connect with your Instagram audience in real time. In this article, you’ll discover how to use Instagram Live video within Instagram Stories.”


Big thanks to Jessica G for the pointer to this one! Archivists hope to receive funding to preserve tapes of Navajo oral histories. “Misplaced for years, only to be discovered sitting in a jail cell, their backups destroyed in a fire, their entire contents never cataloged, the tapes must be preserved so that generations to come can hear the ‘knowledge, legends, stories, traditions stored on these tapes,’ advocates say. The library is asking the Navajo Nation Council for $230,520 to digitize the five dusty filing cabinets of tapes so the collection can be protected, distributed to schools and made available to others.”

SEO Roundtable – Google: We Have No Web Site Page Quota & Do Not Throttle Traffic. “Yesterday I covered a thread at WebmasterWorld asking if Does Google Limit Traffic To Your Web Site? I said the answer is most likely no and yea, that is probably the case. Glenn Gabe on Twitter pointed to a video hangout from last month where Google’s John Mueller answered that specific question.”


Wow. Police are hoping Amazon Echo data will help in a murder investigation. “Amazon’s Echo devices and its virtual assistant are meant to help find answers by listening for your voice commands. However, police in Arkansas want to know if one of the gadgets overheard something that can help with a murder case. According to The Information, authorities in Bentonville issued a warrant for Amazon to hand over any audio or records from an Echo belonging to James Andrew Bates. Bates is set to go to trial for first-degree murder for the death of Victor Collins next year.”

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services has reported a data leak. “Personal information from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services’ internal files has been posted to a social media site, Commissioner Jeffrey A. Meyers said. DHHS learned Nov. 4 of this breach and notified the NH Department of Information Technology, NH State Police and other state officials.” And, over six weeks later, the public gets to hear about it. Nice.

CBS News: Did social media play role in string of mall fights across U.S.? “Police are investigating a string of fights in malls across the country on one of the busiest shopping days of the year. There were reports of disturbances in more than a dozen cities Monday, from Elizabeth, New Jersey, to Fort Worth, Texas. Some police departments said they were responding to reports of shootings. Police believe that, in some situations, postings on social media drew attention to the fights, reports CBS News correspondent Jericka Duncan.” Don’t read the comments.


Mobile Advertising Watch: Attitudes Mixed About Ads on Millennial Go-To Sites Instagram and Snapchat. “To reach millennials, more and more marketers turn to Snapchat and Instagram. But while the sites attract the right demographic, the young people are a tough audience, often “unimpressed by ads on these platforms.” And in fact, about 35 percent say they don’t even see them.” Good morning, Internet…

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